ECHR Fines Russia More Than Half Million Euros
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has fined Russia about 533,000 Euros for disappearance of 7 Chechen men and 2 Chechen women between 2000 and 2002 in the Russian occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.
Here are the press releases:
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
ECHR 240 (2013)
Kaykharova and Others v. Russia (nos. 11554/07, 7862/08, 56745/08 and 61274/09)
Saidova v. Russia (no. 51432/09)
The European Court of Human Rights has today notified in writing the following two Chamber judgments, none of which is final.
Both cases concerned disappearances in Chechnya.
In the first case, the applicants are sixteen Russian nationals who are the families of six men and two women who disappeared in or around Grozny between 2000 and 2002 after being apprehended by groups of armed men whom the applicants believed were Russian military or security forces. Most of the applicants currently live in the Chechen Republic, in Grozny and Gudermes, apart from two of the applicants who now live in Austria.
In particular, in application no. 11554/07, Gelani Kaykharov was abducted from the family home in Grozny in the early hours of the morning of 20 December 2002 by a group of masked men wearing camouflage uniforms and has not been seen since; in application no. 7862/08, Suleyman Surguyev, Adam Suleymanov and Mirza Elmurzayev were taken away by armed servicemen on 2 February 2000 from the basement of a school in which they had taken refuge with 30 other local residents during hostilities in Grozny and, later identified in a photograph published in a magazine being held in a pit guarded by armed servicemen, have not been seen since; in application no. 56745/08, Markha Gakayeva, Raisa Gakayeva and Zavalu Tazurkayev were abducted on 3 June 2000 during a special operation by Russian servicemen at a market in the North of Grozny; the blindfolded bodies of Markha and Raisa Gakayeva were later found in a mass grave on the outskirts of Grozny with signs of having met violent deaths and Zavalu Tazurkayev has not been seen since; and, in application no. 61274/09, Shaaman Vagapov has not been seen since 23 February 2000 when he was stopped in his lorry at a military checkpoint in the Grozny district.
The applicant in the second case, Tumisha Saidova, is a Russian national who was born in 1938 and lives in Novyi Tsentoroy, Chechnya (Russia). She has had no news of her son, Ramzan Saidov, since the early hours of the morning of 10 August 2002, when a large group of armed and masked men in camouflage uniforms came to the family home in Grozny and took him away.
All the applicants alleged that their relatives had disappeared after being detained by Russian servicemen and that the ensuing investigations into their disappearances had been ineffective. They all relied on Article 2 (right to life), Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), Article 5 (right to liberty and security) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy).
In the application concerning the disappearances of Suleyman Surguyev, Adam Suleymanov and Mirza Elmurzayev, the applicants also relied on Article 38 (obligation to furnish necessary facilities for the examination of the case), alleging that the Russian Government had not provided the European Court with records of military servicemen’s questioning during the criminal investigation, the most important documents in the case.
In the case of Kaykharova and Others:
Violation of Article 2 (right to life) – in respect of Gelani Kaykharov, Suleyman Surguyev, Adam Suleymanov, Mirza Elmurzayev, Markha Gakayeva, Raisa Gakayeva, Zavalu Tazurkayev and Shaaman Vagapov
Violation of Article 2 (procedural limb) – in respect of the failure to investigate effectively the disappearance and deaths of the applicants’ relatives
Violation of Article 3 – in respect of the applicants, on account of their relatives’ disappearance and the authorities’ response to their suffering
Violation of Article 5 – in respect of the applicants’ eight relatives, on account of their unlawful detention
Violation of Article 13 in conjunction with Articles 2 and 3
No violation of Article 38
– as regards application no. 11554/07: EUR 3,000 to the mother and EUR 7,000 to the wife of Gelani Kaykharov (pecuniary damage), EUR 60,000 to the applicants jointly (nonpecuniary damage) and EUR 3,000 jointly (costs and expenses)
– as regards application no. 7862/08: EUR 60,000 to each of the three applicants (nonpecuniary damage) and EUR 7,000 to the applicants jointly (costs and expenses)
– as regards application no. 56745/08: EUR 4,000 to the mother of Markha Gakayeva and EUR 9,000 to the wife of Zavalu Tazurkayev (pecuniary damage); EUR 60,000 jointly to the relatives of Markha Gakayeva, EUR 60,000 jointly to the relatives of Raisa Gakayeva and EUR 60,000 jointly to the relatives of Zavalu Tazurkayev (non-pecuniary damage); and EUR 7,000 to the applicants jointly (costs and expenses)
– as regards application no. 61274/09: EUR 60,000 (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 3,000 (costs and expenses)
In the case of Saidova:
No violation of Article 2 (right to life) – in respect of Ramzan Saidov
Violation of Article 2 (procedural limb) – in respect of the failure to investigate effectively the disappearance of the applicant’s son
Just satisfaction: EUR 10,000 (non-pecuniary damage and costs and expenses)